Re: offspring, ape and man.

Thomas R. Holtz, Jr. (
15 Jul 1996 15:09:36 GMT (Tdewater) wrote:
> Is it possiable to mate an ape and a human and have an offspring ? If yes
> has it been done and what was the child like ? If one has any data on
> this please send it to and comment here.

Much as we might want to know the result on a scientific level, there
are major ethical considerations to deal with here. Chimps and bonobos
and humans are closer genetically to each other than horses (E. caballus) are
to zebras (various species of Equus), and horses and zebras can have
infertile offspring. It is probable on the genetic level that infertile
offspring would be the result.

But then, what do you do with the offspring?
What would be there rights under law? (I DO NOT want this to turn into
a debate about animal rights: there are other, more appropriate groups
to talk about that. Nevertheless, this would be a very special case).
To my knowledge, no one has tried this experiment, probably (in part,
at least) for just these reasons. I haven't even heard if the Nazis
tried this, and they would have been more likely then anyone to have
gone ahead with this sort of experiment.

Also, a clarification: "ape" is a term without much biological meaning.
Humans share more traits (phenotypic and genetic) with chimps, bonobos,
and gorillas then any of this African lineage does with ourangutans, and
that whole assemblage are genetically and biologically closer to each
other than any are to gibbons. "Ape" is simply any anthropoid except
for humans. Although a cross between humans and the African hominoids
might be possible, one with ourangutans or gibbons would very likely
be impossible.

(Now, did anyone get creeping willies reading the above? I know that
part of me is mildly creeped out by such talk, but part would be
interested in knowing the result).